European shares retreat from nearly 18-month high

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – European shares fell on Friday, after closing at their highest level in nearly 18 months, with banks the major losers, as fears still remained about peripheral economies in Europe.

By 0816 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of top shares was down 0.5 percent at 1,077.88 points. The index is up 3.1 percent this year and has jumped 67 since hitting a record low in March last year.

Banks fell following strong gains in the previous session. Nordea Bank (NDA.ST: ), Standard Chartered (STAN.L: ) and Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX: ) slipped 0.4 to 2.7 percent.

“I do not think there will be too much enthusiasm for the agreement with Greece. It is just filling in the cracks rather than solving the problems.” said Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management.

Euro zone leaders and the IMF agreed to provide a joint financial safety net for debt-laden Greece on Thursday, but the plan did not extinguish fears about other fiscally vulnerable economies in Europe such as Portugal and Spain.

Energy stocks were out of favor. BG Group (BG.L: ), BP (BP.L: ) and Total (TOTF.PA: ) lost 0.3 to 0.6 percent.

Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC.L: ) marked down nearly 63 percent after prices were adjusted for the demerger of Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWP.L: ), which was marked up 25 percent.

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(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)

European shares retreat from nearly 18-month high